More people with dementia in the UK will be able to take part in research and help accelerate the development of new treatments, as the Government announces £49.9 million of new funding to build a network of dementia trials sites across the country.
The network will be co-ordinated by UCLH and Dr Cath Mummery, a UCLH consultant neurologist and dementia researcher at our BRC, will be Director of the network. The news means UCLH researchers will be working with partners across the country to build capacity and expertise in early phase dementia trial sites. This will offer people with dementia the opportunity to take part in early phase clinical trials irrespective of where they live and widen access to a larger, more diverse population.
Dr Mummery said: “We are at a historic point in dementia research with disease modifying therapies emerging. We must seize momentum, working across the UK with partners and industry, world class researchers, and patient representatives to build expertise, capacity and support in a unified network of trials sites.”
Dr Nick McNally managing director of research UCLH/UCL said: “Utilising our world class infrastructure at the UCLH Biomedical Research Centre and Clinical Research Facility we have already established an exciting portfolio of clinical trials in dementia. This new clinical trials collaboration opens up a huge opportunity to extend the reach of clinical trials in dementia on a national scale, exploring new ways to deliver trials and to make participation in the trials a more realistic prospect for a greater diversity of patients.
UCLH Chief Executive David Probert said: “UCLH is delighted and excited to be hosting and co-ordinating the Trials Network. I know our experienced dementia research teams look forward to working with our colleagues across the UK to widen access and help build capacity and capability for dementia trials. For UCLH to take a lead on expanding research, can only benefit our patients by developing expertise, better care and opening up research opportunities.”
The government announced the new funding as part of moves to improve diagnosis and treatment for dementia and neurodegenerative conditions. The NIHR will build capacity and expertise in early phase dementia trials across the UK through an expanded Dementia Translational Research Collaboration (D-TRC) and the new Trials Network (D-TRC-TN).
Once the network is operational, there will be an open, transparent process to select sites during the programme. The coordinating centre will invite applications for membership of the D-TRC-TN and build capacity and expertise at each member site to optimise function.